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Does Experience Trump Education when Looking for a Job Candidate?

Ian Jul 31, 2013 8:28:35 AM

For employers and recruiters looking for job candidates, there is that age-old question of whether you should go with the candidate with the most education or the one with the most experience. Is a pricey college degree really necessary to obtain any job? Or can a candidate skip the student loan debt and gain valuable experience instead?

Why Education Is Better

College graduates tend to be more responsible and mature. No one is forced to go to college, but they made the decision to do so and they followed through. They’ve spent the last four years managing their course load and spending time studying and doing homework. Many have the drive and ambition that those with only a high school education may not have. College graduates have learned about many different subjects while in college, so they are also more well-rounded.

Plus, college opens the door to opportunities that high school graduates may not have access to, such as internships and part-time jobs with major companies in the field of study. Also, many professional fields – law, education and medicine, for example – require extensive education. After all, don’t you want a doctor who is well-trained to care for your health? Would you want your child to have a teacher who never completed education beyond high school?

Why Experience Is Better

Some would say that the person with the most experience is the better job candidate in terms of salary. Those with a college education require a salary of 50 percent more than the high school graduate. This means that a company can hire a high school graduate for much less and train him or her to do things the way the company does them. High school graduates are not influenced by what they learned in school. They are often more adaptable and willing to learn right from the beginning.

Which is Better?

This will depend on the position and what qualities the company is looking for in their ideal employee. Some jobs may require a more hands-on approach – something not always taught in college – while others are more analytical in approach and would benefit from a worker with a college degree.

Hire the Best Employees

Experience is not always better than education. Both aspects should be considered when hiring employees.The McQuaig Institute can help you assess candidates to see which ones best fit the job description and profile of the ideal employee. See what assessments we offer by calling or visiting us online.

Ian

Written by Ian